Since almost five years the German research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) is operated to explore the environment and the climate in the stratosphere, the Arctic and Antarctic, and to collect atmospheric data around the world.
The DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics uses HALO for its research topics, too. As an example in the field of atmospheric chemistry the mission POLSTRACC (The Polar Stratosphere in a Changing Climate) investigated in winter 2016 how sensitive trace gases like ozone and water vapor affect the near-ground climate in the Arctic. For cloud research HALO was flying over the Brasilian rain forest in autumn 2014. During the mission ACRIDICON (Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation, and Radiation Interactions and Dynamics of Convective Cloud Systems) it was investigated how soot of clearing fires in the tropics affects the formation of clouds and the precipitation intensity. The mission ML-CIRRUS (Mid-Latitude Cirrus) in spring 2014 focused on high ice clouds at eight to 14 km altitude and their effect to the climate.
During the mission NAWDEX (North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream impact Experiment) HALO flew in autumn 2016 within an international measurement campaign together with partners in the USA, the UK, and Switzerland, to measure transport processes over the Northern Atlantic Ocean. The recorded data will improve weather forecasts in the future and will provide a better understanding of extreme weather events.
The research aircraft HALO is a corporate initiative of German environmental and climate research institutions. The acquisition of HALO was financed by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (HGF), and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG). The operation of HALO is borne by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the MPG, the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), the Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT), the Deutsche GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ in Potsdam and the Leibniz Institut für Troposphärenforschung in Leipzig (TROPOS). The DLR is owner and operator of the aircraft.
Contact: Dr. Hans Schlager
Official HALO homepage: http://www.halo.dlr.de/